Trains.com
You have 7 views remaining.

Home / News & Reviews / News Wire / Wabtec locomotive remanufacturing program completes 1,000th unit

Wabtec locomotive remanufacturing program completes 1,000th unit

By Ken Fitzgerald | August 7, 2021

Milestone unit goes to Norfolk Southern, recipient of 500 engines since program began in 2015

Email Newsletter

Get the newest photos, videos, stories and more.

Two black locomotives, one weathered, the other new and shiny
Two black locomotives, one weathered, the other new and shiny
Norfolk Southern AC44C6M No. 4463, the 1,000th unit in Wabtec’s rebuilding program, poses with a locomotive awaiting remanufacturing at Fort Worth, Texas, on Aug. 6, 2021. (Ken Fitzgerald)

FORT WORTH, Texas — Wabtec has reached a milestone, completing its 1,000th remanufactured locomotive at plants in Fort Worth; Erie, Pa.; and Contagem, Brazil, since the program’s start in 2015.

Norfolk Southern has received 500 of the locomotives since contracting with Wabtec to take 1990s-vintage, 4,000-hp, D.C. traction GE Dash 9 locomotives and rebuild them into 4,400-hp, A.C. traction units with a new designation of AC44C6M. That includes the 1,000th unit, No. 4463, unveiled Friday at the Fort Worth plant and posed next to an unrebuilt unit about to enter the program.

“This achievement is a testament to the value that our locomotive modernization service provides to customers,” says Pascal Schweitzer, president of Wabtec Freight Services. “Our modernization program breathes new life and technological advancements into customers’ aging locomotives, while also reducing a railroad’s operating costs and carbon footprint.”  Finished units increase tractive effort by 50% with the switch from D.C. to A.C. traction, improvements in truck design, an 11-ton weight increase, and new standardized control systems sacross all units. This allows Norfolk Southern to assign two rebuilt units to trains that would have required three older units to achieve the same performance.

Two men standing on front platform of locomotive
Pascal Schweitzer of Wabtec (left) and Tom Schnautz ofNS pose on the newly completed locomotive. (Ken Fitzgerald)

The units’ 25% increase in fuel efficiency means these 1,000 locomotives have reduced carbon emissions by 1.4 million tons since 2015.  All this is important to Norfolk Southern’s long-term goals, says Tom Schnautz, vice presiden, advanced train control.  “As a leading transportation provider, it is our responsibility to reduce our environmental impact,” Schnautz says. “Our partnership with Wabtec is one way we plan to achieve our target of a 42% reduction in emissions intensity by 2034.  Wabtec’s program is maximizing the value of our locomotives, lowering operating costs, and reducing emissions.”

Another environmental benefit is that 50% of the steel in each locomotive is reused in one form or another during the remanufacturing process.  Over the life of the program, the three Wabtec plants  have reused more than 100,000 tons of steel in the remanufacturing process.

“The modernization program has been a tremendous success and has created a new segment in the market,” Schweitzer says. “It is now a key pillar of fleet management strategies for many railroads.  That is a tribute to our employees, suppliers and customers.”

One thought on “Wabtec locomotive remanufacturing program completes 1,000th unit

  1. I can see why there is a rise in Rebuilding engines cause the Tier 4s are still having issues. But at least T4 is still a working progress. Since BNSF isn’t rebuilding its Dash 9s the rebuilds must not be all that great.

You must login to submit a comment